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SSI and turning off air?

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by caver, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. divewabbit

    divewabbit Guest

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: whiting nj
    wake up stop think react that is a basic for pool only
  2. Conchchowder

    Conchchowder Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I was certified in 1976 by PADI. Not only was our air turned off in the pool, it was done on our open water dive. I wasn't informed on either occasion as if I were to run out of air in an emergency situation, I wasn't going to be told that I was about to have an out-of-air emergency.

    "The idea of early diver training was simple: Before you could call yourself a diver, you had to prove you had what it takes. And what it took was surviving training."

    A Short History of Diver Travining

    I was taught, time and time again, to stay close to my buddy, to signal for out of air and how to do a ditch and don and a safe ascent.

    At 15 years-old I had the confidence to handle any emergency that could come my way, thanks to "harassment".

    I can remember doing my ditch-and-don at Pennekamp in 25 feet of water, going to the surface and going back down to put on my gear.

    There is a great thread here on the dumbing-down of certification courses.

    When training for real-life emergencies, and seeing if a student has the mental capability to handle a life-threatening emergency gets boos from divers, then we have a serious problem on our hands.

    Diving has ceased to be a sport with wher e serious training in methods, physics (can you repeat all of the gas-laws and do a dive plan?), and instilling automatic responses to crisis situations...now, it is a three-day distraction.

    I say DON'T tell 'em their air is going to be shut off and see how they react. If they freak, kick 'em to the curb. You may save their life though you may have a pi$$ed-off customer.
  3. evac93rd

    evac93rd Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Conyers, GA
    I was certified by PADI in August of 2008. As part of our pool training we had our air turned off so we could experience what an "out of air" emergency felt like. We were briefed on the surface prior to this and after we made the "cut-throat" signal our air was turned back on. We then signaled OK and training proceeded to the next student.

    The only difference I can see between PADI and SSI is that we did our CESA at a different time, not immediately following the simulated "out of air" emergency. I must say I don't see the controversy here?? Am I missing something? :confused:
  4. knight diver

    knight diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: flushing,michigan
    As a ssi instructor I have had the pleasure of teaching my students the out of air drill. I teach this skill after all other skills have been learned and practiced. I also face the student while we are both kneeling on the bottom of a 12' pool so that they are stable and so that I can gage their reaction by looking them directly in the eyes. I then signal asking are you OK? then I ask are you OK to go up? after receiving a affirmative answer to both these questions. I then shut off the students air supply, all the while looking into their eyes for signs of distress.. I have them breath down their regs until they are out of air and signal as such with a full slash across the throat with their hand. I then assist the student in leaving their knees and proceed in ascending to the surface while turning on their air as they ascend making note that they should have a chin up attitude and be blowing bubbles.I maintain contact with them at all times. Once they reach the surface I have them inflate their BC by using the bobbing method.I remind them at this time that they are out of air and as such they must orally inflate their BC. I do not have them ditch their weight belt. I also stress that to drop their weights is to be a last ditch effort, one that may save their life but could also lead to severe complications. I throughly brief each diver on the surface before attempting this exercise.and I do not perform this in open waters. Michigan's waters are not conducive to very good viz !!!!!

    Chris SSI instructor
  5. Br44

    Br44 Guest

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego California
    im not cert with ssi but i would like to put in my 2 cents worth.......... i was cert with PADI and i did have my air turned off in the pool. but i did not do any accent or anything with it....... he just wanted to show me what its like to run out of air.

    when i got into my open water dive, he had me take my reg out of my mouth and go up. i blew little bubbles all the way and when i reached the surface, i inflated my bc with my mouth.

    (one time i had a "friend" turn my air off in the middle of a dive as a joke. i almost got tangled in kelp on my way up.)
  6. JMcD

    JMcD Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Hi all,

    Just to clarify. dpaustex, I agree with Alan that the your statement of "doubling on ascent for every 33 feet of depth" isn't entirely correct. And as Alan has pointed, it would be correct from 33 feet to the surface. However, just so there is no confusion, I believe Alan intended to say 99 feet and not 132. Since no-one else corrected it, I was a bit concerned that you may have had some confusion working it out.

    At the surface - 1 Atmosphere (14.7psi) of pressure from the earth's atmosphere
    33' 2 atmospheres
    66' 3 atmospheres
    99' 4 atmospheres
    132' 5 atmospheres

    sooo... a volume of air taken at 99 feet (4atm) would indeed double in volume when the pressure was reduced by half (to 2atm) which would occur when a diver reached 33 feet.... and then double again (4 times the original 99 foot volume) in the last 33 feet to the surface when the pressure from 2 atmospheres decreases in half again to the 1 atmiosphere at the surface.... clear as mud?


    now back to your originally scheduled discussion

    I believe shutting off a students air under controlled conditions so they know what will happen and what it might feel like to have no air is a positive training experience that can be easily managed. I have never had a concern from a student with just doing this. I've done it in very shallow water where a student could easily have reached the surface by standing up. I found it valuable when I took my OW as it simply answered an obvious question that I had no idea at the time what the sensation might be or how the equipment would "feel".

    Combining with the EBA as is outlined by SSI... I believe it can be safe, but does have elements that increase the complexity and requires clear direction and controls by the instructor.

    The subtle change in SSI documentation Bryan has pointed out does seem to me to add some confusion. If I read it again - it seems it is required, but the conditions have to be perfect... soooo what does that mean exactly?...

    I believe a CESA is critical to proper training, teaching how to ditch weight is also critical to proper training when one considers the number of diving fatalities that occur on the surface - but the timing of ditching... do I ditch weight at 120 feet, or if I think I'm not going to make it doing a CESA, or when I reach the surface, at the surface if I'm struggling to orally inflate... or ... (add your proposal here) that does add confusion and turns this thread into a do-you-ditch-or-not thread --- not something that we need another of on SB I don't think.

    I believe the OP has been answered pretty fully SSI's view of shutting off air... good discussion.
  7. Diveralan

    Diveralan Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Oklahoma City
    Hi JMcD,

    Thank you for catching my mistake. I can't believe I did that. Just shows you need to proof read before hitting post. Thanks again.

  8. Jeff Toorish

    Jeff Toorish Instructor, Scuba

    It's not a bad thing for students to really understand what it feels like to suck on a second stage and have nothing come out. The SSI approach is reasonable in my opinion.

  9. Meanee

    Meanee Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Did EBA from 30' during my checkout dives. Instructor turned off my air (was turned off during inhale), so I was nervous that I won't reach surface soon enough. Did exhale on the way up, and got to surface easy enough. What I did not know was that my instructor was riding up with me and turned on the tank as soon as I started my ascent.
  10. MDJ1016

    MDJ1016 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Genesee County Michigan
    It sounds bad, but if you have a good instructor (as I did), the "pre-fear" is worse than the actual event. Just remember to exhale on the way up, and remember it should only have to be done once.

    If you aren't one that feels safe in the water or has anxiety about the even make sure you tell your instructor BEFORE you get in the pool. At first I had anxiety about learning certain things, but as mentioned earlier a good instructor can make all the difference!

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